70% Indian car buyers will avoid dealership visits post-lockdown: Survey – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The Covid-19 pandemic is profoundly changing automotive buyer’s behavior and a consumer behavior survey suggests 70 per cent of them would avoid dealership visits to compare financing and deals post Covid-19 lockdown.

Cashing in on digital platform, Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Honda Cars and other leading carmakers have increased their presence, level of interaction with customers and queries through their official website. Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audi and other luxury carmakers have also joined the digital bandwagon, delving greatly into the augmented reality to woo customers.

According to a survey done by Capgemini Research Institute, there is a paradigm shift in consumers preferring to interact with digital dealerships. “Globally, 46% of consumers prefer to avoid visiting dealerships today to compare financing and deals. Complying with lockdowns and social distancing measures could be a major driver of this. China and India lead the global pack in advocating interaction digitally, with 71% and 70% respectively.”

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Maruti Suzuki’s digital queries have zoomed to 20 per cent from three per cent during the lockdown period, a senior official told TOI. Similarly, Hyundai received 1,500 bookings so far through its online and offline retail channels since resuming operations last week.

“We had experienced a very sharp uptick in the number of digital inquiries we are getting,” said RC Bhargava, Maruti Suzuki chairman. “More and more customers, because of the fear of contracting COVID-19 and this social distancing, will try and see how they can make maximum use of technology to buy car.”

Capgemini surveyed more than 11,000 consumers from 11 countries representing 62% of global annual vehicle sales and found that health and safety concerns will continue to shape consumer behavior even after this crisis subsides.

“There will be a marked preference for individual mobility over public and shared modes of transport. The research also shows the rekindling of interest in vehicle ownership among younger consumers along with a preference for digital engagement channels,” the survey concluded.

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